Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Insulin Pump Better Than Multiple-Shot Regimen for Diabetics

By Joyce Frieden
WebMD Health News

June 8, 2000 -- A new study confirms that insulin pumps are more effective than multiple daily insulin shots at helping type 1 diabetics' control their blood sugar and can lower the total daily insulin dose they need. This is especially true if the patients take a large portion of the dose at mealtimes, says the study, published in the journal Endocrine Practice.

Diabetics' bodies fail to produce enough of the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar. Without insulin, blood sugar stays dangerously high, and can cause serious complications, including blindness and kidney failure. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in childhood, and people with this type of diabetes must take insulin to stay in good health. Insulin can be taken by injection or by the pumps, devices worn like a fanny-pack that deliver programmed doses of the drug under the skin of the wearer's abdomen.

For the study, Linda M. Crawford, BA, of the Dartmouth Medical School, in Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues reviewed the cases of 19 people with type 1 diabetes. The patients, aged 30-58, had switched from a multiple-shot regimen to an insulin pump system between 1991 and 1997. Most had asked to be put on pump therapy to improve their blood sugar control and to reduce the frequency of their bouts of low blood sugar.

The patients started with a daily insulin dose equaling 80% of that they had been taking before going on the pumps. Half the dose was given throughout the day as "background" insulin, and the other half was given at mealtimes. The patients checked their blood sugar levels six to seven times a day. They were followed for an average of 14 months.

The researchers found that HbA1C , an important measure of the patients' blood sugar, significantly decreased after they switched to the pump. Their weight also decreased, from an average of 153 pounds at the beginning of the study to 152 pounds. And their total daily dose of insulin decreased by some 18%.

One interesting finding was that the amount of insulin the participants used between meals decreased, while the amount used at mealtimes increased. The patients achieved appropriate premeal doses by more closely monitoring their own blood sugar and by counting carbohydrates, the study's authors say.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner